General Grabbers take on the Best in the Desert Henderson 250
It was a race for all seasons this past weekend at the Best In The Desert (BITD) Henderson 250 in Henderson, Nev. Teams saw blustery winds, sun, rain, sleet and even some snow during the three-lap race. With all seasons accounted for, Team GT relied on the grip and durability of their Grabbers to get them to the end and the famous red letter tires didn’t disappoint.
Off-road whiz, Justin Lofton, stood out among the crowd qualifying first overall in his 1500 buggy. With clean air and a championship on the line, Lofton dominated the first two laps over the 1400 truck of Rob MacCachren before racing side-by-side for the win in the final lap. Through the rocks, deep sand and a variety of weather conditions, Lofton battled on his Grabbers but MacCachren passed Lofton at the very end to win the overall by less than a minute. Lofton claimed the class win, his third class 1500 win at the Henderson 250 in as many years… that’s a turkey for the bowlers out there.
“My Grabbers worked great in the heavy sand and rocks of the Henderson 250 course,” said Lofton after the race. “The only part of the whole vehicle that touches the ground are the tires so it's important to have the best you can.
“It's awesome to win the Henderson 250 three years in a row,” continued Lofton. “It's tough to win one race, let alone to do it three times. A big thanks to my crew, Jimco Racing Inc, Fox Racing Shocks, Fortin Transmissions, Dougan Race Engines, and General Tire.”
“Justin ran an amazing race this past weekend,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for General Tire. “He, and his entire team, left everything out there going for the championship and we couldn’t be more proud of them. The conditions that were presented at the race certainly tested the Grabber tires and Justin proved that they were able to get the job done. To finish second in the overall, less than a minute behind a trophy truck, is testament to Justin’s ability and the equipment underneath him.”
Team GT teammate, Ray Griffith crossed the line fourth in the 1500 Class while Sean Backus finished second in the 7200 class and Jerry Whelchel posted a third-place finish in the Camburg Racing truck in the 6100 class.
Lofton’s win wasn’t quite enough to win the 1500 championship as he fell just shy of the title. Lofton finishes the 2013 BITD season second in championship points while C.J. Hutchins, also racing on Grabbers, finished third. It was a heartbreaking loss for Lofton but he will return in 2014 looking to win it all.
“We will do exactly what we did this year,” said Lofton. “Go out and try to win every race. We had a few mechanical issues at the bigger races that we have resolved and as long as nothing new comes along we will be right where we need to be to claim the title in 2014.”
In the 8000 Class, Macrae Glass boasted another event win and championship title. The championship marks three years in a row Glass has won the 8000 Class championship sporting General tires. In Class 1100, Bryan Folks repeated as champion on General tires as well.
Team GT newcomer, Steve Alexander, also racked up a championship title in Class 5000. The championship comes as a product of Alexander’s four event wins during the 2013 BITD season (Parker, General Tire Mint 400, General Tire Vegas to Reno, and Henderson 250). The 2013 marks the first season Alexander has raced on General Grabbers.